Not too long ago, I published my lists of the ten best and worst women from the Real Housewives franchise. The rankings seemed to be well-received; so here I am with another go at it, this time aimed at the guys. I’ve compiled a list of the worst husbands and boyfriends from the Housewives franchise, and I gotta say, it was pretty easy. Amusingly, the majority of the spots went to men from Orange County, and I have to admit that not a single guy from Atlanta made the cut (as if the lovable Ed Hartwell or Eric Snow would be close to the words “worst” — although, Big Daddy and Bob Whitfield came close).
After the jump, check out my list of the worst males (children excluded) from the Real Housewives…
10. Mario Singer, New York City
In general, Mario isn’t so bad, and we’ve grown to love Ramona so much that it’s hard to say anything bad about her family, but the truth is that Mario is prone to some asshole behavior. There was his whole ridiculous tennis tiff with Jill, which stemmed from him taking a silly proposition waaaaaaay too seriously. And then there was his subsequent attack on Jill, which now seems deserved but truthfully at the time was very dÃ©classÃ© (to borrow his wife’s favorite word). And then there was the even more idiotic “Countless” controversy wherein he refused to apologize for an admittedly puerile (even if amusing) dig he took at LuAnn. The point is that Mario has a tendency to be a douchebag from time to time, and that plops him here on the list.
9. Dina Manzo’s invisible ex-husband, New Jersey
I put this guy on the list only because he allegedly is the reason why Dina’s daughter Lexie is not on the show anymore. Watching her and her mom interact was one of the few highlights of Jersey’s first season, and now that Lexie is gone, there’s even less of a reason to watch this snoozefest of a show. Boooooooo!
8. Joe Giudice, New Jersey
Joe is mostly the strong, silent type, but when he opens his mouth, he doesn’t always say gentlemanly things. In season one of New Jersey, he threw about the word “gaylord” (major no-no on BRAVO), and most recently, he called his daughter UGLY. When Gia began to cry, he didn’t apologize; he merely told her to get over it. Oh, and then there’s that whole $11 million debt he ran up with his wife. Not the best.
7. Frank Curtin, Orange County
Of all the men on this list, Frank seems like he might be the nicest guy; however, a pleasant disposition doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s the biggest doormat of a father on the show and that he got his family kicked out of their home on national television. Yes, Frank hid the crumbling financial status of his investments from his wife (who, admittedly, is something of an ostrich with its head in the dirt), and as a result, the whole brood had to suffer the embarrassment and inconvenience of being evicted from their Laguna Beach residence. Never mind that his daughters are already disasters. And never mind that he stood silently by as his wife underwent elective and expensive surgery. Eventually, when the shit hit the fan, Frank tried to win back the love and support of his fam by making desperately idealistic statements such as “It’s all gonna work out.” He then proposed that what the Curtins REALLY needed was just a big family vacation. The whole thing was very, very sad, and as friendly as the guy might be, his judgment is kind of deplorable.
6. Brad Boles, Jill’s “gay husband,” New York City
UGH. Jill’s “gay husband” Brad is kind of the worst. He just tries so hard to be the fabulous breakout gay character that will earn his own show on Bravo, and yet he fails immensely on all fronts. There’s something about him that just feels so put-on. I’m thankful that his only appearance in season three was a tiny three-second cameo in the corner of the screen during the season finale. I don’t know why he more or less vanished from the show, but I like to think that everyone finally realized how insufferable he can be.
5. Louis Knickerbocker, Orange County
It’s a little weird and perhaps tasteless to include a dead man on this list, but I suppose I should add the disclaimer that this list is about people as they are portrayed on the show. I don’t portend to know how these men are or were in real life — these are just reactions to what I’ve seen on screen, and as such, I think it’s totally fair to include Lou, ex-husband of Tammy, on this list. There are several reasons why Lou did not endear himself to the audience, but mainly, I’d have to say the creep-factor is the biggest one. The fact that he constantly surrounded himself with teenage girls in skimpy outfits (including some of his very own daughters) always rubbed me the wrong way. He truly gave me the heebie jeebies, and I don’t think I’m alone on that front.
4. Jim Bellino, Orange County
There’s nothing worse than a condescending, boorish husband. Oh wait: there is. A condescending, boorish, sanctimonious husband… who wears age inappropriate garb. Jim Bellino is the ultimate pontificator, and his old-fashioned treatment of Alexis (who, it should be noted, is a willing participant) is totally off-putting. This guy causes groans nearly every time he steps in front of the camera — whether he’s puffing away pompously at his cigar or ordering his wife around the kitchen. Kind of awful.
3. Matt Keough, Orange County
Probably the biggest out and out asshole of the franchise, Matt Keough is truly a piece of work. He used to be a passive-aggressive drunk, but now he’s just aggressive. He screams at lovable sad sack Jeana when he walks in the house, and he doesn’t even care if other people are around to see it. The sheer amount of self-loathing and anger in him doesn’t really make for entertaining TV. Just… sadness.
2. Simon Barney, Orange County
Anyone who can cause the audience to feel an ounce of sympathy for Tamra Barney must be pretty bad. Meet Simon Barney: the cold, manipulative, and controlling (soon to be ex) husband of Tamra. Simon always seemed like a dick, but as the seasons went on, he just got worse and worse. He occasionally made decent points about this and that, but in general, everything he said seemed like a snaky mind game whose purpose was to make Tamra more dependent on him. In the latest season of Orange County, Simon went into overdrive as perceived threats (ie. Vicki, dwindling finances) made him feel like he was losing his grasp on Tamra. This resulted in maddeningly passive-aggressive fights followed by ridiculously controlling monologues. It was therefore tremendously liberating when Tamra snapped back at Simon during the season finale; however, that very same episode showed something truly disturbing as we saw the extent to which Tamra was truly afraid of her own husband. Shivers.
1. Slade Smiley, Orange County
Any surprise here? Slade Smiley has made a career out of dating Real Housewives. There was Jo. Then Lauri. Then maybe someone else? And now Gretchen. He’s a total leech and a slimeball on top of that. His interactions with people all feel fake and amped up for the cameras; however, once in a while, he lets his guard down, and we see that inner asshole we first glimpsed during his rollercoaster relationship with Jo. The guy is not happy-go-lucky, despite what he’d have us believe. Plus, the way Slade chatted with Gretchen’s parents felt totally inappropriate. Everything about this guy is awful. Why won’t he simply go away?
What do you think about the list?